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Invincible to be mothballed shocker!

From The Grauniad:

Invincible to be mothballed early

Richard Norton-Taylor
Thursday July 7, 2005
The Guardian

The aircraft carrier HMS Invincible is to be decommissioned six months early, leaving the navy with only one such vessel ready for operations, it was confirmed yesterday.

Invincible is to be put into what the Ministry of Defence calls "extended readiness", a euphemism for mothballed. HMS Ark Royal is undergoing a refit at Rosyth dockyard near Edinburgh until the end of next year, with HMS Illustrious alone prepared for action.

The MoD also announced yesterday that from the end of the year, support for Iraqi naval forces in the Gulf and counter-terrorism patrols in the Indian Ocean will be carried out by a single destroyer or frigate instead of two.
A destroyer or frigate will be on station to help British territories in the Caribbean only during the hurricane season.

The decisions follow the announcement last year that the navy's fleet of destroyers and frigates will be cut from 31 ships to 25. The navy will also soon be without Sea Harriers. A decision to commission two large aircraft carriers will not be taken before the end of the year, defence officials say.

They are due to enter service in 2012 and 2015 - targets unlikely to be met. Their potential builders say the £3bn cost of the two ships estimated by the MoD is far too low.

Vice-admiral Jacques Mazars, the captain of the Charles de Gaulle, which took part in last week's Trafalgar celebrations, suggested that Britain and France had decided cooperation was inevitable: "We are trying to define at what level the cooperation can be done for the aircraft carrier."

The navy yesterday put a brave face on the moves, saying the Invincible would not be disposed of until 2010. "We have more capacity than we need," a spokesman said.

John Reid, the defence secretary, said: "The changes we have announced ... will ensure we continue to meet our priority commitments with fewer vessels."
The story is here.

This is getting simply ridiculous. How on earth can anyone read the last statement without wanting to punch John 'Oh fcuk - not Health' Reid's head in?

Cnut. :evil:
I've wondered about this.

HMS Ocean Is esentaly an Invincible class with nobs on. And we've got three Invincible classes going spare....

Now I know that it's to simple and too much like comon sense to do a refit on them.. but still. And we can keep it in port most of the time, just attach each one to a RM Comadno Regiment.

(PS: Yes I know HMS ocean has a hell of alot of improved elctronics on it, but you'd think the Carriers would have a fair old number as well.)

What's Next, HMS Scimitar to be the prototype for our destroyer's? you know the ones intending to supplment and eventualy repalce the Type 45's...

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